Roundup: Bruce Gordon backs Nine, new Nine allegations, Seven hires Mark Humphries

Nine’s Olympic ad decline, church and state at News Corp.

News Brands

Bruce Gordon backs Nine as $550m stake fuels succession questions

Nine Entertainment’s largest shareholder, billionaire Bruce Gordon, has backed the company’s prospects despite the abrupt exit of chairman Peter Costello, a languishing share price, and an external review of workplace culture in its troubled TV news division, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

In his first public comments on the media for three years, the businessman – with a fortune estimated at $1.03 billion, according to the Financial Review Rich List – said Nine was “a great company, with great people producing great content”.

“We see Nine as a company worth investing in,” Mr Gordon told The Australian Financial Review.

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What restructure? Church and state blur over at national broadsheet

Last month, The Australian solemnly reported on the “the ‘church and state’ rule, governing the relationship between the executive and editorial arms”. This, they wrote, was alive and well, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

Since then, The Australian has made much of the apparent failure of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age to live up to their slogan – Independent. Always. – in pursuing a story about Nine Entertainment’s departed head of television newsDarren Wick. Nine publishes the HeraldThe Age and The Australian Financial Review.

“Presumably,” The Australian jibed, “they want readers to believe that their journalists report without fear or favour.” And this was after the Herald and The Age had published a 1400 word investigation into Wick’s inappropriate workplace conduct! Since then, of course, the Herald has editorialised welcoming the exit of Nine’s chairman, Peter Costello.

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Former Nine employee reports two male managers over claims of bullying, sexual harassment

Two senior male managers at Nine have been reported to the network’s independent review over claims of sexual harassment and bullying by a former young female staffer, reports The Australian‘s Sophie Elsworth.

The two males – who both still work at the commercial network – have been reported by the woman over allegations of mistreatment of her during her time at Nine which eventually resulted in her leaving the company in early 2022.

The female employee – who signed a deed of release – was given a five-digit payout by the network after she claimed she was managed out of the business.

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Business of Media

Nine’s Games hopes stung by ad decline as hopes of profit fade

Nine is facing an Olympic-sized revenue headache as it desperately seeks to sell a raft of unfilled advertising slots for its coverage of the Paris Games, reports The Australian‘s James Madden.

With the Opening Ceremony less than six weeks away, The Australian understands that the embattled media company’s sales team is struggling to find clients for its smaller Olympics advertising packages, which, cumulatively, are worth many millions of dollars.

Nine insiders claim that, while the company has safely locked it in its major sponsors for the Games, its smaller ad packages are proving to be a tougher sell.

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Channel 7 hires comedian Mark Humphries to liven up its 6pm news bulletin

Channel 7’s freshly minted national news boss, Anthony De Ceglie, is forging ahead with his shake-up of the network’s on-air talent, but his latest joker in the pack prompted an outbreak of raised eyebrows across the company’s Sydney headquarters last week, reports The Australian‘s James Madden and Sophie Elsworth.

The word is that Sydney’s flagship 6pm news bulletin, fronted by long-serving anchor Mark Ferguson, is set for a new addition.

No, not a journalist, nor a presenter, nor a weatherman.

Please welcome to the 6pm news … funnyman Mark Humphries.

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Sam Pang to host Logie Awards 2024

Sam Pang is officially announced to return as host of the Logie Awards, reports TV Tonight.

Seven will screen the event from The Star Sydney on Sunday 18 August.

“Hosting the Logies last year was an amazing experience and I’m thrilled to return in 2024. Adding to the excitement Seven have also given me the greenlight to try new things this year so I’m really looking forward to displaying my underappreciated and severely undeveloped song and dance skills.”

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